2002-02-23 / Columnists

Simon Says…. From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Simon Says….
From the Desk of Lew M. Simon,
Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Have you noticed what I’ve noticed? Since reading the WAVE on Friday February 8 that said the planes have been rerouted over they bay, what happened? Since I have perfect hearing, I’ve noticed a barrage of planes. I have received in my office over 50 constituent complaints about the number of planes over Rockaway Park and Belle Harbor. Residents of Dayton West complain of planes flying lower.

We are urging all to pick up the phone to contact Congressman Anthony Weiner’s office at 332-9001 and ask what is happening. This past weekend, not only the day flights, but also the evenings, which are supposed to be quiet, have been horrendous.

On Thursday afternoon, we joined the annual celebration of love and friendship at the Neponsit Adult Day care at 716 Beach 9 Street in the Young Israel building. This was a Valentine’s Day party for all their clients. Live entertainment, good food and good cheer were plentiful.

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer addressed the group on the importance of keeping this program. I told them I would not rest until the Neponsit Home is reopened with all patients and staff returned. We would continue to let Mayor Bloomberg know that a permanent site is needed for adult day care. If you are considering attending as a client, call and ask for a one-day pass. Try it out. You’ll like it.

On Thursday, a public hearing was held at 2 p.m. in the afternoon sponsored by LIPA. The purpose was to hear from the public about the purchase of Keyspan’s power plant in Bayswater. It was quite apparent that afternoon meetings do not work in Rockaway.

I questioned Richard Kessel, LIPA chair, why the meeting was not held at 8 p.m. since most residents travel to Manhattan to work. He pooh-poohed it and said that it was nothing that only seven community residents joined with 30 to 40 staff members in the audience.

LIPA has one-time right to acquire Keyspan Generation, the company that owns the former LILCO generating assets. LIPA formed a team to analyze and support LIPA’s decision. It consists of Anastasia Song Consulting-energy and infrastructure advisor, Bear Stearns-Financial consultant, Navigant Consult-engineering consultant, Pricewaterhouse Coopers- accounting advisors and O’Melvney& Myers, LIPA-legal advisor.

Among the advantages of purchasing the plants, LIPA states that ownership could lead to modest rate savings and LIPA would have complete control over unit retirements and expansion, and more effective use of generation sites.

After hearing Mr. Kessel speak on the cost of the loan to purchase, I asked if this cost would be passed on to the ratepayers. The other question I asked is how much savings would we get. Kessel said there would be 1% savings. He also stated that current Keyspan employees would be kept by LIPA.

The meeting was a waste of money due to the poor turnout. We are hoping that in the future, there will be more effective outreach to the community.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday March 16. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 with $16 returned. For reservation, call my office at 945-1216.

We are proud to announce that William Thompson, Comptroller of the City of New York, will be our guest speaker on Thursday, February 28. The comptroller will discuss the city budget, employee pensions and ideas for budget changes. The meeting will be held at the headquarters of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club, 112-20 Beach channel Drive, opposite Waldbaums. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

On Saturday evening, we attended the annual James Conway Sullivan St. Patrick’s Day Parade Ball at Antun’s. At this ball, all the Grand Marshals, Honorary Grand Marshals and Deputy Grand Marshals are installed. The Grand Marshals are John E. Greaney, president of Local 608 and Mary McGuinness, of the Irish Gift shop in Marine Park, Brooklyn.

Deputy Grand Marshals are Brendan McPartlant, Mary Lenihan, Patricia Young O’ Connor, Larry Kelly, Gerald Perich, Veronica McCarthy, Maureen E. McGee, Kenny Goode, Joseph Kasper, Joseph Trainor and Joan Ward George.

To honor our 9/11 heroes, Honorary Grand Marshals were chosen from the Fire Department, EMS, NYPD and Rockaway Volunteer Fire Departments. From FDNY, we are honoring FF Thomas J. Touhey-Marine 6, Bata Battalion Chief Thomas Murphy-Battalion 47, FF Michael Moran-Ladder 3, FF George Johnson-Ladder 157, FF Jerard Warnock Engine 264, FF Gregory Ruggiero-Engine 328, FF Jeffrey James-Ladder 134, FF William Nolan-Engine 265, FF Kevin Shannon-Ladder 121, FF Michael J. Hynes-Engine 266, FF Dennis McClean-Engine 268, FF Brian Fitzgerald-Ladder 137 and FF Albert Loyola-Engine 329.

EMS honored is EMT Chief Robert Browne, EMT Robert McCracken, Jr., and EMT Eric Rasmussen. NYPD honored are PO Michael O’ Connor-101 Precinct, and PO Megan Pryor-100 Precinct. From the Rockaway Volunteer Fire Departments, the honorees are Christopher Kalisak- Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department, Richard Leib-Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department, John Mulvanerty-Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department and the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department.

The police, fire, EMS and fire volunteers were honored for their heroism on 9/11 and 11/12. Some were injured in the line of duty.

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